God’s Kindness Changes One Life at a Time

Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, 
not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? 
Romans 2:4 ESV

It is easy to become overwhelmed with a sense of hopelessness, when reading the headlines of the latest cruelty, perversion or political movement that seems to hate even the merest vestige of Christianity. Such temptations to despair sometimes can get our eyes off of what God has called us to do and call us to respond with harshness, criticism or sarcasm. But Jesus had another way when He faced an unreasonable and seemingly hopeless mission. The path that Jesus took, unleashed the power of God’s kindness.

Yes, Jesus wept over the city, but then He walked down into it and gave His life. No, Jesus did not stop teaching the hard things about the Kingdom of God, but when they nailed Him to the cross, He didn’t hurl angry accusations against His opponents, instead He prayed, “Father forgive them.” How foolish and weak that must have sounded! Forgive? What good would forgiveness do? How could that change the situation? The answer came not only on the third day, when they found Jesus alive again, it also unfolded on the day of Pentecost when three thousand of the people He had wept over repented and believed. Soon all of Jerusalem was shaken, and tens of thousands became Christians. It all began in a moment on a hillside, when judgement seemed the more logical response, but Jesus chose the power of kindness, and that kindness has changed the world. Kindness doesn’t win military victories, elections or Hollywood awards but God’s kindness changes the world one life at a time. I know it has changed mine!

The Miracle of the Church

And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, 
and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 
Matthew 16:18 ESV

That afternoon, I sat with my shotgun in hand, waiting and watching to catch the perpetrator of the recent crimes, but the sly fellow never appeared. Nevertheless, by morning the evidence of his skullduggery was again on display, and my zucchini squash plants lay in ruins. Mr. Groundhog never showed his head, but the evidence of his deeds was a clear reminder that a mere garden fence would not keep him at bay. Yet, I did not give up on our vegetable patch. I replanted and strengthened the fence and was delighted to discover that though the zucchini crop was a bust, we reaped tomatoes, peppers and green beans in abundance that year. In the same way, when we grow spiritually fatigued, discouraged and disillusioned by scandal among church leaders, fellow church members, or ourselves, we must not give in to despair. Instead, remember that attacks are not a sign of defeat. Rather, the impact of our spiritual garden attacker does not, will not and has never destroyed the success of all the crops.

Photo by Greta Hoffman on Pexels.com

After all, it would be no miracle if God’s church grew unimpeded throughout the centuries because all Christians were perfect. The miracle is that, in spite of our glaring shortcomings, scandals and weaknesses, God has continued to build His church, and after two thousand years she remains alive and well. Each time the enemy has broken through the garden fence, God in mercy knelt down and went to work in His garden. He didn’t tell Peter He needed a perfect church to build His Kingdom. Instead, God’s promise was that by the miracle of His grace, He would rebuild the garden fence, replant the damaged rows and in the end reap an abundant harvest that no power of hell could ever destroy!

Footsteps of Faith

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 1 Corinthians 13:2 KJV

Take one step on the road where our Savior leads
Take hold of that hand that can set you free
Follow His voice and choose to believe
These are faith’s footsteps to Calvary

With each step as we follow our Master’s feet
While close by His side we choose to keep 
On faith’s path to a place where God’s grace we meet
There He’ll open our eyes and His face we’ll see!

Footsteps of Faith by Peter Caligiuri copyright 2022
All rights reserved